Modulation of TRIM5α activity in human cells by alternatively spliced TRIM5 isoforms

Emilie Battivelli, Julie Migraine, Denise Lecossier, Saori Matsuoka, Danielle Perez-Bercoff, Sentob Saragosti, François Clavel, Allan J. Hance*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


TRIM5α is a restriction factor that can block an early step in the retroviral life cycle by recognizing and causing the disassembly of incoming viral capsids, thereby preventing the completion of reverse transcription. Numerous other isoforms of human TRIM5 exist, and isoforms lacking a C-terminal SPRY domain can inhibit the activity of TRIM5α. Thus, TRIM5α activity in a given cell type could be dependent on the relative proportions of TRIM5 isoforms expressed, but little information concerning the relative expression of TRIM5 isoforms in human cells is available. In this study, we demonstrate that mRNAs coding for TRIM5α represent only 50% of total TRIM5 transcripts in human cell lines, CD4+ T cells, and macrophages. Transcripts coding for, in order of abundance, TRIM5ι (TRIM5-iota), a previously uncharacterized isoform, TRIM5γ, TRIM5δ, and TRIM5κ are also present. Like TRIM5γ and TRIM5δ, TRIM5ι and TRIM5κ do not inhibit HIV-1 replication, but both have dominant-negative activity against TRIM5α. Specific knockdown of TRIM5ι increases TRIM5α activity in human U373-X4 cells, indicating that physiological levels of expression of truncated TRIM5 isoforms in human cells can reduce the activity of TRIM5α.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7828-7835
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


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